Halo: Combat Evolved

Also Known As: Halo
Genre: 1st Person Shooter
Platform(s): X-Box/PC
Allegiance: Bungie Software/Microsoft
Vintage: 2001
Rating: M
Intelligence Agency Report by: Dave K
You are Master Chief; one of the last surviving Spartans, a group of genetically and physically enhanced cyborg super-soldiers. In the future, humanity is in conflict with an alien race called The Covenant. You are on board the Pillar of Autumn, a ship which is trying to stop The Covenant from discovering the secrets of an ancient ring world called Halo for fear that it is a weapon which can be turned against the humans. After the Autumn is shot down, you need to find a way to stop The Covenant from discovering just what the secret of Halo is.

Weapons Expert Report by: Dave K 
Overall 9.50
(not an average)
Version Reviewed: X-Box Revolutionary. If you were to ask anyone (myself included) just what the impact of Halo was on the world of first person shooters they would tell you that it was indeed revolutionary. The concept of an FPS is not in and of itself revolutionary in itself. However, Halo did so many new and unique things that it easily changed the way people view the First Person Shooter. In terms of plot or characters Halo is anything but unique. The story parallels some old movie clichés and the main character is incredibly generic; what Halo brings to the table, are some wonderful new ideas in terms of gameplay. Prior to Halo, there were games that included piloting vehicles such as Golden Eye or SiN; but these games left that aspect out in multiplayer. The realism in only being able to carry two weapons at one time, and that reloading means you lose the remaining bullets in a clip, is just another aspect that Halo brings to the realism table. These, along with the multi-passenger vehicles and the excellent physics engine makeHalo one of the greatest games available in terms of gameplay. On the plot side of things Halo is nothing outstanding. It’s frankly quite dull and the surprises are limited. The long drawn out time to play through a level can be either detracting or a bonus, depending upon the perspective of the player. The generic plot also doesn’t do the game any favors although it also doesn’t hurt it, except in terms of originality. 

On the visual side Halo was absolutely amazing when it came out. Nobody had ever seen anything that looked like it. However this was all due to the powerful processor in the X-Box and since that point there have been plenty of games to match or surpass Halo. It also had a lot of repetitive character models with not a lot of variation. You fought 4 different ranks of Covenant: Grunts, Jackals, Elites and Hunters. There were some variations in colours amongst them, but they didn’t change. Still Halo took full advantage of the new limits it was given and did a good job nonetheless. 

Halo does not have much of a soundtrack to speak of; the music is really quite bland and if you pay attention it can become quite repetitive. However it does set the mood for the scenario so when you’re trying to sneak about it is rather quiet (or not there at all) and when you are facing a rush of enemies there are some loud beating drums. The sound effects and voice tracks are amusing to say the least. From an elite’s “Wort! Wort! Wort!” battle cry, to the rattling of the Warthog’s gun, to a grunt screaming in terror as it runs away; Halo definitely brings a touch of realism into the game with its sound. 

There is a reason that Halo was named Halo: Combat EvolvedHalo brought about an evolution in the First Person Shooter genre of video games. So while it may have a generic plot and characters it more then makes up for that with its excellent gameplay that is still second to none. On a final note, if you really like Halo, check out Red vs. Blue, an interesting Internet movie series made with Halo